It’s no secret that certain things tend to bond people — like working together for nearly a decade, or spending lots of time between takes on a movie set, or serving together in an organization like the military. Since Karl Urban and Anton Yelchin effectively did all three of those things — working for about a decade together on the “Star Trek” reboot series that told the story of a crew serving the “United Federation of Planets” — it’s safe to say that they formed a significant bond.
Now, nearly a month after his death, the 44-year-old New Zealand star is still in disbelief.
“It’s devastating to lose a family member,” he tells Zap2It. “It is such a sudden, tragic shock. We’re all reeling.”
Urban, who stars this summer in two couldn’t-be-any-more-different blockbusters with July 22’s “Star Trek Beyond” and “Pete’s Dragon” on August 12, should be celebrating a period of wide-ranging success in his career. Instead, he explains that everything is bittersweet just a few weeks after the death of his 27-year-old “family member.”
“It’s fresh, it’s raw, and it’s painful,” explains the actor somberly. “Anton was like a little brother. He was such a lovely man, and so supremely talented. We all got the feeling that he was just at the beginning of a significant career, even though he had over 60 appearances in different films and television programs.”
According to Urban, when Yelchin died in a freak accident he had been looking forward to adding a new title to his significant resume. “He was just about to embark on directing his first feature film; he was a student of film,” Urban marvels. “He could reference obscure Russian cinema, and talk about the greats in the Golden Era of Hollywood in the ’50s just as easily as modern films. He had a fantastic awareness of art, photography, music and literature. He was the smartest guy in the room, yet he was humble about it.”
Echoing the recent sentiments of their “Trek” series star Zachary Quinto, Urban insists that there will never be another actor quite like Anton Yelchin. “It is just such a tragedy,” he says. “We are all struggling to come to terms with this loss. We’ve lost a cherished, well-loved member of our family.”